It is through Rabbi Jonathan Cahn that I learned about the Hebrew word "mohar." For an ancient Hebrew wedding to take place, the groom had to pay the bride's family a dowry, a precious gift or large sum of money to show his love for his bride. Without the mohar there would be no wedding. No covenant could be made. There is Biblical precedence for this practice in several places in the Bible. Here are a few of them:
Genesis 24:53 - Eliezer, acting in the place of the groom's father, Abraham, gave precious gifts to Rebekah's family as a dowry so that she would come with him to be Isaac's wife.
1 Samuel 18:25 - Saul tells his servant to say to David, "The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies." David took Saul seriously and brought back 200 Philistine foreskins for Michal's hand in marriage.
Hosea 3:2 - At God's instructions, Hosea purchased Gomer the prostitute as his wife for "fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley."
Christmas is here, a time when we contemplate the precious gift that God sent from heaven to purchase a bride for His son Jesus. We must see this gift through to its conclusion. The love of Christ is demonstrated not only by His birth, but also by His death. The life and death of Jesus on earth was God’s mohar so that His bride, the Church, can live with Him for eternity. Rabbi Cahn asks a pertinent question about other religions who ask for extreme devotion from their adherents. When we look at Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Orthodox Judaism, "Where is the mohar?" A gift was not given to make covenant in these religions. It only happened for those who believe Jesus is the Son of God. The mohar could not be more valuable!
This season I have been touched by the words of a song sang by the group "Down Here," called "How Many Kings?" I encourage you to listen to it. Below you will find some of the words to the song. Please pay particular attention to the questions in the chorus. In essence, the questions can be summed up by asking, "Where is the mohar?"
Verse 1 - "Follow the star to a place unexpected. Would you believe after all we've projected, a child in a manger? Lowly and small, the weakest of all, unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother's shawl, just a child. Is this who we've waited for?" Chorus.
Verse 2 - "Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior, all that we have, whether costly or meek, because we believe. Gold for his honor, and frankincense for his pleasure, and myrrh for the cross He will suffer. Do you believe? Is this who we've waited for?"
Chorus: "How many kings step down from their thrones? How many lords have abandoned their homes? How many greats have become the least for me? And how many gods have poured out their hearts to romance a world that is torn all apart? How many fathers gave up their sons for me? Only one did that for me."
Let us join in the worship of our God for being willing to be our Mohar.
Joan E. Mathias